John Podesta, the President and CEO of the Center for American Progress, is calling on progressives to support the passage of “revolutionary” global warming legislation, the American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454). The bill has received some criticisms from progressive bloggers and activists. A vote in the House of Representatives is expected this Friday, June 26th.
Once again, Mick Jagger is right: “You can’t always get what you want/ But if you try, sometimes you just might find/ You get what you need.” The House of Representatives is poised for its first ever floor debate on legislation to reduce global warming pollution. This landmark bill is revolutionary in its intent and, while imperfect in its means, deserves the support of progressives.
For about the cost of a postage stamp per day, the bill would lay the foundation for a thriving clean energy economy, by establishing greenhouse gas pollution limits, setting the first national renewable electricity and efficiency standards for utilities, and improving efficiency standards for buildings and appliances.
The original draft included a more aggressive 2020 greenhouse gas reduction target and a higher renewable electricity standard, which if restored would create more clean energy jobs than the current compromise.
Unfortunately, Senate passage of similar legislation will be more difficult, and the Senate Energy Committee is off to an inauspicious beginning by passing an energy bill that would do little to boost investments in renewable electricity. The Senate bill is weak, toothless, and unacceptable.
The Congressional will to act lags far behind the scientific evidence that there is little time left to avert the worst impacts of global warming. But passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act this week by the House will give us a chance to start the critical transition to a low-carbon economy.